Ahem, Ahem! Ladies and Gentlemen, my self drafted pencil skirt:
|Me before coffee. (Pained smile)|
This is what I wore to work yesterday - my new self drafted pencil skirt sewn from my cut of border print wax cloth that my pop bought in Ghana. I have to tell you: drafting and sewing this skirt was not really all that difficult. I think it may have actually taken less time than trying to alter and sew a commercial pattern.
It's much easier to get great fit when you start out working with your own measurements. I needed a little tweaking here and there, but it was very minor (see here
). Seriously, look at how great this fits at the hips. Woot!
First, lets talk about the drafting!
CD Book Review: The Skirts by Kenneth King
For drafting this skirt, I used Kenneth King's The Skirts
. I've dabbled with drafting before, and so I had some familiarity with the
basics. But I think that this would not be overly challenging even if
you are new to drafting. A skirt is a much easier project than pants or a
This sloper has some great features that
give it a refined fit. First, for a waist to hip difference of 10"+ (ie:
pear shaped figures), Kenneth suggests adding a second dart in the
front. This worked very well for me since there is less distortion at
the hip curve. Also, the back waist is drafted to be slightly higher and
the center back seam is drafted with curved shaping. These features
prevent gaping at the back waist and give the skirt a shapely fit over
|Nice fit thru hips and bum!|
Also, I find that in most patterns, the
back vent never really hangs straight. Kenneth compensates for this by
adding a little extra angling and width to the vent.
|Shocked that my vent lays flat!|
I think the last thing to note about this skirt is that it's designed to have little ease; it's meant to be fitted. I
generally like fitted garments, but I added a little more ease from the
high hip down. So, if you like more ease, just know that you will want
to give yourself some extra wiggle room.
My last thoughts on the CD book are that it has great info, but isn't particularly glossy. I think that Kenneth King just sat down, wrote an incredibly detailed tutorial with diagrams and helpful info, saved it on a CD and voila: the Skirts was born. Buy it for the content - which is amazing and worth it - and not for the gloss. Honestly, it would be incredible if he would publish an actual glossy book that compiled all of his CD books as a comprehensive guide to pattern drafting.
Now, the sewing details!
I decided on two new-to-me finishes. First, a lapped zipper. Since this was originally intended to be a bombshell dress, I thought that the vintage feel of a lapped zipper was fitting for the spirit of the project.
Next, in the interest of keeping things fairly simple, I decided on a grosgrain facing rather than drafting a separate waistband. It was easy. Oh, and isn't my turquoise grosgrain and hyper orange lining a fun combination? The lining is a lightweight cotton from Paron Fabrics.
|Turquoise and orange insides. |
Since I had extra grosgrain ribbon, I decided to use some as a zipper guard. I simply sandwiched the edge of the grosgrain between the skirt and lining, tucking in the ends. Ok, that's really three things, but all were easy.
Because I wasn't following any kind of instructions for sewing this skirt, here are some resources and some of the tools I used:
- Lapped zipper insertion: There are loads of tutorials out there. I watched a few and did my thing. But Sunny Standing did a free zipper insertion class on Craftsy if you've never done this before. It seemed pretty easy and thorough.
- I always interface the zipper area. ALWAYS. Go for the good stuff.
- Linings: If you sew and don't own Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, well, you need to get on that. Seriously.
- I am in love with my new Japanese hand sewing needles. I used them for slip stitching the lining to the zipper tape.
And that's everything! I'm really psyched about my custom pattern block and already on to playing with it. My next version, I think, will have princess seams and a high waist. I'm already mostly done with a silk top to potentially go with it. Stay tuned!